In 1987 Princeton Academy of Martial Arts (PAMA) opened its doors to offer high-quality martial arts training for adults and children. When people first visit them at their new facility located on Everett Drive, they quickly realize it is not your typical gym — one walks into a life-sized portrait of Albert Einstein and spiritual artwork from around the world. The space incorporates a lot of culture and art that reflects the heritage of the different martial arts the school offers. Director and Head Instructor (Sifu) Mike Lee describes the facility as “one man’s dream in a physical form. You can’t replicate it.”

Sifu Mike first stepped into PAMA more than two decades ago as a student and after more than 20 years of training and instructing at the school, became its new leader this past winter. Mike notes, “this has been a natural ascension of martial arts transitioning from Sifu Rick Tucci (the founder),” who after spending more than 40 years in the martial arts industry, including founding the academy, decided to focus his time to pursue his other passions.

Classes include exotic martial arts such as Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Filipino Kali, and Grappling. Most students start with Jeet Kune Do (JKD) — the martial art created by Bruce Lee. It is an all-encompassing program including kicking, punching, grappling, and empty hands trapping.

Mike adds, “We come from a rich legacy. The beauty of Princeton Academy of Martial Arts is we offer so many arts, and we have a profound expertise in each one of them.” The curriculum at PAMA comes either straight from the founders of the arts or their immediate successors and the intimacy of their legacy has allowed a unique and very complete understanding of technique, establishing the school as the premier martial art training facility in New Jersey and the Northeast.

The techniques are taught in a way that each student can digest no matter what experience or fitness level they have. “We offer an individualized approach to martial arts. Everyone receives customized attention so they can be the best they can be.” While students are training to improve themselves, the need for self-protection is an unfortunate reality in this day and age, and practical self-defense skills are being instilled in them from day one.

PAMA holds classes for adults, children, men, and women of all ages and offers a free private lesson for people to explore their needs and goals: call them today to schedule one. “The most important thing is that you enjoy it,” says Mike.

Princeton Academy of Martial Arts, West Windsor Professional Center, 51 A Everett Drive, Suite A-50, Princeton Junction. 609-452-2208.

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